The Washington State Transportation Commission has scheduled meetings across the state to learn more about local and regional transportation issues. The 2013 meeting locations span the state, including the NW corner (Port Townsend), the SW corner (Walla Walla), the NE corner (Colville/Spokane) and central Puget Sound (Bothell). These meetings are in addition to seven scheduled two-day meetings in Olympia.
The local meetings enable Commissioners to hear in greater detail from local public agencies and business organizations about transportation challenges and needs. It also provides Commissioners an opportunity to tour key projects. The conversations focus on how the state transportation network impacts local businesses and communities. Often the focus is on priority unfunded projects which could foster economic growth and jobs, and improve a community’s livability. Conversations also touch on state laws, policies and regulations that impact local communities.
Commissioners also hear about transportation challenges facing city, county regional and port jurisdictions. The input is included in the Commission’s annual report to the Governor and Legislators. Except for the Commission’s work, those issues often wouldn’t come to the attention of the Legislature and Governor. Transportation issues – roads, trails, clean air and water – often cross jurisdictional boundaries, so learning about local issues can help the Legislature and Governor craft more effective policies and laws.
The Commission conducts these meetings around the state because it recognizes it can be difficult for community, business, and public agency leaders to travel to Olympia to have those conversations. Of course, local officials often travel to Olympia to participate in those meetings.
In 2012 the Commission met in Mount Vernon, Seattle, Wenatchee, Pasco, Walla Walla and Tacoma. It also held meetings in Port Orchard and Gig Harbor regarding toll rates on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. In 2011 the Commission met in Cheney, Seattle, Bellevue, Clarkston and Vancouver. It also held meetings in Port Orchard and Gig Harbor regarding toll rates on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
The 2013 outreach meetings:
Port Townsend: May 22
Walla Walla: June 18
Colville/Spokane: September 16-17
Bothell: November 19
If you can’t attend a meeting, you can still give your input about transportation issues to the Commission.